Nekki’s Cascadeur 2021.1 has a new AutoPhysics tool, which automatically creates a physically accurate version of an existing animation and allows the use of an AI-based AutoPosing tool for any humanoid character.
With this release, Cascadeur has officially moved into early access, with two subscription plans introduced by Nekki, even though the software remains free for anyone earning less than $100,000 per year.
Originally developed by Nekki as a tool for their own Shadow Fight 3 game, Cascadeur is conceived as a convenient way to animate characters and creatures.
Unlike conventional animation tools, Cascadeur encourages users to focus on physical properties such as character trajectory, angular momentum and fulcrums such as ground contact.
The process involves posing a character’s key poses, and then the software generates a seemingly plausible motion that connects them.
In addition to physics-based systems, Cascadeur includes a number of more traditional rigging and animation tools, as well as exporting to other DCC software in Collada and FBX formats.
The aforementioned AutoPhysics tool allows you to roughly lock the animation for a character – or import a lock from another application and have Cascadeur automatically generate a physically correct animation as close as possible to the one the user had. The physically correct version is created on a copy of the character, hence it is possible to keep making changes to the original and update the generated physics in real time.
Autophysics works on the entire interval, splitting the animation on which works on several intervals:
— ballistic ( the character has no support)
— stable (character moves very slowly)
— supporting ( the character moves and has a fulcrum)
On each of them the tool offers the option closest to the original animation so as not to violate the physics of the animation.
For ballistics, we plot the ballistic trajectory and fix the angular momentum.
For stable we drive the trajectory of the centre of mass inside the support zone.
For a support one, we make it so that the instantaneous fulcrum is inside the fulcrum. That is, the character will move in such a way that it is supported by the fulcrum.
It’s also reported that users can now work with more complex scenes, as the restriction on joints in this software has been removed, allowing them to work with character rigs with any number of joints. In addition, the new scene linking tool allows multiple scenes to be viewed in the same window simultaneously with “little or no impact on performance”.
It is specifically noted that Cascadeur 2021.1 is now a commercial product and not a free public beta version. The basic version of the software, which is limited to exporting up to 300 frames of animation per scene, remains free for indie users, i.e. those whose income does not exceed $100,000 per year.
Cascadeur 2021.1 2021.1 is available for Windows 7 and above and Ubuntu 16.04 and above. The macOS version will not be released until 2022.
After a one-year subscription, users can continue to use the software as a perpetual licence even if the subscription is cancelled.